A Pain Only a Runner Could Love

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“Five minutes to go,“ the announcer said. I started to feel the sweat drip from my face, I hadn’t even started the race yet. I could feel my body getting hot, my stomach start to turn. It was almost race time, 11 minutes of pure pain. To anyone’s blind eyes the 11 minutes wasn’t the painful part, it was the five minutes to race time that hurt the most. I did the final components of my warm-up making sure each muscle was stretched to its full capacity. I took many deep breaths as I walked closer and closer to the starting line. Tears ready to fall from my eyes, was I really doing this? Yes, this is what my body thrived on, the pain, the nervousness, the 11 minutes of pure pain, but not pain, pure love and passion. I felt as if my heart was going to beat so fast that it would fall into a black hole of endless hurt. I felt like I am going to jump out of my body. I look over next to the starting line, all the girls were on the ground, stretching, taking off their warm-ups, getting the pre-race talk from their coach. My hands start to shake, I take deep breaths and close my eyes to calm my body. It’s almost race time. I take off my sweats, my wind breaker, then my sweatshirt, I take off the gloves, the shirt over my race shirt. There it is, my uniform, I can finally breathe. I feel the sweat drop from my face, my hair sticking to my back. The man that starts the race starts to check everyone in and line everyone up in their position. I take a few strides, looking for my dad’s position on the track. I have to make sure I know exactly where he is. I move my arms fast, and stride out my feet, faster, faster. “Rachel, lane 3,” he says. I jog over to my position and jump in the air. “We are about to start the girls 3000 meter race,” I hear overhead. My dad starts to cheer. He yells out his motivational words. “It’s better to burn out than fade away…” I know what I’ll do. I’ll start scared, nervous, unconfident with my talent. Then as I start to pass everyone I will gain confidence, like I am. I am a fighter, I am aggressive, If you want to beat me, you better be ready to bleed to do it. You better have the guts, you have to love the pain as much as I do. Here we go, the race is about to begin. I start to think about the ending, do I want someone there waiting for me to finish, no. I want to be the person waiting for everyone. The gun is up, boom! And I am off. Striding off the starting line, getting my position perfectly in lane one right on the shoulder of the girl in front of me.

In the end it’s just me and her. Sprinting to the finish line, there’s no way she’s going to beat me, I think to myself. I want this more. I deserve this. I worked hard for this. I’ve risked my body in the sun, the hot, the cold, the mud, the rainy days. The days where I felt sick, where I was tired, where I was busy, stressed, happy, whatever I was I pushed my body to the limit everyday, this race is mine. I pick up speed, and push through the pain and sprint to the finish line. I leave her, dust her, I want this more. As I cross the finish line I receive my 1st place popsicle stick to reserve my spot. I feel accomplished, my dad is jogging to the finish line yelling out my time, clapping his hands. Amazing, all this for 11 minutes. It’s amazing to see how much this means to me, that 11 minutes of pure pain. Most people shy and turn away from this type of commitment, the every day pain, the hard working effort you have to give. If you want to be great, you have to work even greater. 1st place isn’t handed to you, you have to work for it. You can’t read the feeling of this pain, this amazing feeling of my legs burning, shaking, I’m ready to hit the floor, If you want to feel this you have to go out there and try it for yourself.





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